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Michael Ashburner, 2003-05-31

 Item — Box: AV01, miniDV: CSHL1009

Scope and Contents

Michael Ashburner speaks about topics relating to his participation in genomics and gene regulation research. His recollections of the key participants in the competition between the public and private efforts to sequence the human genome, Craig Venter's formation of Celera Genomics, details surrounding the 1996 Bermuda Principles on Data Release, and the first Collaborative Annotation Jamboree held in 1999 are among the topics discussed. Ashburner also relates his experiences coming to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory over a consecutive 27 year period: as a presenter at the Cold Spring Harbor Symposia, as a participant and instructor of a lab course, as a published author by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, and his encounters with Jim Watson [Watson, James D. 1928- .]

Table of Contents

  1. Involvement in Genomics
  2. Dangers of Genomic Research
  3. Mechanics of the Human Genome Project
  4. Craig Venter and Celera
  5. Collaboration with Celera
  6. Whole Genome Shotgun Sequencing
  7. Collaborative Annotation Jamboree
  8. Sequence and Annotation Deposit into GenBank
  9. Competition in Science: Public vs. Private
  10. Jim Watson, Writer
  11. Jim Watson at CSHL
  12. CSHL Memories
  13. Meetings and Courses at CSHL
  14. Early Research on Gene Regulation


  • Creation: 2003-05-31


Conditions Governing Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives with any questions regarding availability.

Biographical / Historical

Michael Ashburner was born on May 23, 1942, in Brighton, Sussex, England, and was educated at Cambridge. He received his B.A. (1964), M.A. (1968), Ph.D. (1968) and Sc.D. (1978) from the University of Cambridge, where he is currently Emeritus Professor of Biology in the Department of Genetics and a Professional Fellow of Churchill College. He was formerly the joint head of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Ashburner was also co-founder of "Flybase", the primary online database for Drosophila genetics and molecular biology, the "Gene Ontology Consortium", an effort to coordinate biological databases through a defined taxonomy of gene function, and the Crete Meetings, a bi-annual event focusing on the developmental and molecular biology of Drosophila melanogaster. Among many honors, he is the recipient of the G.J. Mendel Medal (Czech Republic 1998) and the George W. Beadle Medal (Genetics Society of America 1999).


1 Optical Disks : DVD ; 47 min

1 Cassettes : miniDV

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Interview recorded on Hi-8 videotape, then transferred to DVD. DVD authoring and editing by Carlos Viteri. Transcription by Clare Clark. A later interview with Michael Ashburner was recorded on July 3, 2003. That interview is also part of the Cold Spring Harbor Oral History Project. See title: Talking science with Michale Ashburner [second interview].

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA